Money Managing Habits
People develop money management habits and strategies over time, and these practices can lead to conflicts during marriages when couples disagree about how to pay the bills and utilize credit. Discussions about how to manage money in a second marriage, are more complicated than in first time marriages because people have already adapted their spending habits to compromise with one individual and doing so again can be both cumbersome and impractical.
Many people pay bills on or around payday and residual money covers groceries, gas and miscellaneous expenses. When children are involved, the bill payment process becomes more complicated and setting up auto-debits for everything from mortgages to school-lunch funds, is for some people an arduous process that they do not want to repeat, unless they absolutely have to.
Other people have separate bill accounts and arrange for equal sums of money to go into their bill accounts after every pay day. The bill account money works similarly to an escrow and covers all the years fixed expenses. Suddenly trying to combine the accounts and bills of two people with different cash flow patterns is complicated, and for people on a tight budget, one miscalculation can lead to bounced checks and hefty late fees.
Couples entering a second marriage sometimes choose to keep their accounts separate and set up a new expense such as a new mortgage, electric bill, or car payment separately. They continue to pay their own credit card and magazine subscriptions as they always have within their own money managing system. This method can lead to problems arising from perceived secrecy, flamboyant spending, and lack of engagement but for people with little room to maneuver financially it is sometimes the best way to operate short term with a gradual integration of finances in the long term.